The final problem with the “fat burning zone” theory is one that many people have serious problems accepting.
It’s not what you do during the workout that counts, it’s how your body adapts to the workout that really matters!
If you do long, slow fat burning workouts your body will try to adapt to that type of workout.
It will try EXTRA hard to STORE MORE BODY FAT for the next workout, and it will get rid of as much metabolism boosting, body firming muscle as it can (because if you’re doing a lot of work in the fat burning zone, muscle only gets in the way). That’s why you’ll see so many long distance athletes that are “thin-fat” (skinny, but flabby).
If calorie burning is your main priority, there are a couple of better strategies you can take than training in the fat burning zone at http://www.mercola.com/.
The first is HIIT (high intensity interval training). There’s simply no substitute for HIIT for calorie burning!
When you include the amount of calories burned after the workout, HIIT will burn up to THREE TIMES as many calories as any other type of cardio! It is BY FAR the most time efficient way to burn calories!
Not that HIIT doesn’t have its disadvantages: first, most people can only do so much HIIT.
The intensity simply limits how long you can do it, and how many times per week. Therefore, if you have a lot of time on your hands and don’t care about how long your workouts take, HIIT may not be the best.
The second disadvantage is that many people simply hate HIIT! While many of you may do cardio for weight loss, you probably also enjoy it for other reasons.
You find it relaxing, a pleasant distraction from the rest of your busy day, etc. HIIT doesn’t’ fit that mold very well.
Another improvement on the fat burning zone is to just up the intensity to the most you can do for any given amount of time you’ve got available for cardio.
Don’t worry about the fact that you’re not in the “fat burning zone.” Just go as fast, as far as you can.
verall, you will burn more calories and fat than if you stay in the “zone.” Of course, the problem with this is that it still doesn’t help with that “thin-fat” adaptation we talked about.
Another very effective method is very low intensity cardio. If you have the time, a brisk walk will burn calories, not interfere with your real workouts, and generally won’t cause muscle loss (you’re still doing your resistance training, right?).
This is the type of cardio used by many bodybuilders. They want to burn calories but don’t want to do anything that will detract from their hard, strong physique.